We are already in the second month of the year. The economy has not been quite there yet and most people are struggling financially. Events like the corona outbreak in many African countries have just made the situation worse as businesses struggle. However, if you want to be able to go for your holidays this year, this is the time to plan and strategize. The following activities will help you save slowly but surely.
- Cut off unnecessary expenses. When the going gets tough financially, decide what you can do without. Many times we think some items are needs whereas they are actually wants. Try cutting them off and if you do manage to live without compromising your quality of life, go ahead and delete them from the list of your monthly or annual payments. Some of the ways to cut unnecessary expenses include moving to a cheaper house, moving children to an affordable school and stop impulse buying. After evaluating myself, I found that I was able to release more than Ksh.20000 payments to IT experts, suppliers and some nonessential items that I thought were necessary. In short I am able to save more than Ksh240,000 per year.
- Buy in bulk: You will be surprised how much you can save by buying stuff in bulk. This may be foodstuff or other consumables. Buying in bulk saves you money and also saves you trips to the shopping malls. Every time you make a trip to the shop, it is almost certain that you will buy something that was never intended or budgeted for. Go to the wholesaler shops and market stores for food items. If you have grown up children, take them with you and let them be learn this habit. That way, they will also learn how to cut costs when they eventually start their own lives.
- Let your children plan their own spending. Ever gone to a supermarket with a child or youth? They will want to buy the most expensive stuff as long as they are not paying for it. To tame this habit, give your children a small monthly monetary allowance and let them budget and spend it as they will. This will teach them that money is not an infinite resource and that they have to prioritize on what they have to buy.
- Sell what you do not need. If you have extra stuff in your house or office, you can sell to remove clutter and make some cash as well. This opens your space so that you are able to know what you have and where it is. More often than not, we have too much clothes, shoes and other valuables. Because of non use, they lose colour, shape and get devalued with time. If you are not able to use an item, give or sell. What is not useful to you may be useful to someone else.
- Make more: Relying on one source of income for your essentials and investments is an impossible task. So learn to use your skills or passion to make an extra coin. There are many opportunities currently including but not limited to farming, IT, fashion and blogging. Look at the pain points people are experiencing and use these to begin a side hustle. Keep looking for opportunities. They are everywhere. When I traveled to Capetown with my family, we stayed in a furnished apartment and I thought this was a brilliant idea especially when traveling with children. This gave me the impetus to begin Evergreen home stay.
- Ask for debt extension. If you have debts that are falling below schedule, talk to your creditors and request for extension of the payment period. This may be done at an extra cost but you may be surprised that they may be willing to extend the period without increasing the amount of interest to be paid. If you get the money to pay for the debt, do not be in a hurry to make the payment. Use the money to make more money before you pay back.
- Budget and track your expenses. If you really want to plan your finances well, budget but also track your expenses. Each and every coin for a month or two. At the end of the month do an analysis of the categories of expenditure. It may shock you how much you may be spending on certain items like lunch.. Imagine if you spend 300 shillings 5 days a week on lunch. In a month you will have spent 6000 shillings and this translates to 72,000 per year on lunch alone for one person. Tracking tells you exactly where your money goes and it then becomes easier to make decisions on where to stop the leakage. This has been my game changer this year! There are a couple of these apps on google like money manager app that you can download for free for your use.
- Get a partner, get married or just have someone! If you are paying rent, remember it doesn’t matter if you sleep in that house alone or have several people living in there. The rent will be exactly the same. Your partner does not have to be an intimate one at all. Just someone that you can share living expenses with on a mutual agreement. When you have someone to account to, you will find that you become more careful and plan your finances very well. And if you can get an intimate one that you can share life’s experiences, why not? Why make life so difficult when you can share the risks and multiply the benefits of it? For more of our educative articles and get-away visit our website for details.